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Training ship 'Exmouth'

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Training ship 'Exmouth'

Postby MoVidger » Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:30 pm

William Robinson, the husband of a great-aunt, served on the 'Exmouth' at Grays, Essex prior to his enlisting with the 3rd Dragoon Guards. He was age 14 when he enlisted in 1902.

On his attestation record, William states his next-of-kin is his brother Arthur, who is serving on the 'Exmouth'.

I have been researching naval training ships for boys and find the subject very interesting.

Being that William is proving very elusive in the 1891 census, could he have been in an orphanage or workhouse at the time? From what I have read, training ships catered to lads from a variety of backgrounds. It's also interesting that his brother Arthur is listed as his next-of-kin in 1902, rather than a mother or father.

On his 1912 marriage certificate, William indicates his father's name is Arthur Robinson (deceased) and his occupation was 'painter'.

On the 1911 census, William states his birthplace was Deptford. Yet on his 1902 attestation record, his birthplace is shown as Greenwich.

So my question is: were William and Arthur from an orphanage or workhouse; or was the Robinson family from an impoverished background -- and I will just need to dig deeper into the 1891 census to locate them.

Thanks, in advance, for any suggestions or advice!
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Re: Training ship 'Exmouth'

Postby brunes08 » Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:50 pm

Regarding place of birth. Deptford is partly in the Borough of Lewisham and partly in the Royal Borough of Greenwich so he was probably born in the Greenwich area. Responding to a question about one's birthplace often elicited slight differences on a variety of documents but not intentionally to be misleading. My sister says she is from London because she spent most of her life there but she was actually born in Buckinghamshire while our mother was staying with relatives. Hope that helps a bit.
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Re: Training ship 'Exmouth'

Postby MoVidger » Thu Jul 21, 2016 7:01 pm

My mother did something similar with regard to birthplaces. She was born and raised in Kent, but frequently told people she was a "Londoner" instead. She began working in London part-time when she was 14, then progressed on to Fleet Street several years later as a secretary. She told me that she felt more of a Londoner, due to how kind people were to her back then.
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Re: Training ship 'Exmouth'

Postby peter kent » Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:14 am

Cadets on the Exmouth were generally placed there by Boards of Guardians. A decent number of records seem to have survived and I've had a fair bit of success tracing boys who were placed there.

Records are at the London Metropolitan Archives filed under various Boards of Guardians and also the Metropolitan Asylums Board. The LMA catalogue is online and using a search term of something like Exmouth Training Ship should find them.

http://search.lma.gov.uk/scripts/mwimai ... OPAC?LOGON

So far as I know, these records aren't online and you would have to go along to the LMA in person. Some of the documents are actually quite interesting and I found myself going off at a tangent to read a lot of stuff that wasn't directly connected with what I was searching for.

Do you know what the relevant poor law union would have been?
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Re: Training ship 'Exmouth'

Postby MoVidger » Fri Jul 22, 2016 4:02 pm

Peter - thanks for all the info. Unfortunately I have no clue who the relevant poor union would be. The chap in question is a total mystery to me prior to his marriage to my great-aunt. All I have on him is his service record and marriage cert, plus his appearance in in the 1911 census. (One of his sons died at Normandy during WW2).

Sadly, I am unable to visit the LMA in the near future. So I will continue to look for William and his brother in the 1891 census. I would imagine they will be on the Exmouth by the 1901 census. Would this vessel have been recorded on a census record?
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Re: Training ship 'Exmouth'

Postby peter kent » Sat Jul 23, 2016 6:51 am

In 1891 the Exmouth starts at RG12/1377 f 141. In Ancestry you can get there by browsing the 1891 census under Essex...Vessels

In 1901 you can get there the same way - browse Essex...Vessels...
RG13/1661 f 174

In both years Ancestry has got the spelling of Exmouth wrong.
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Re: Training ship 'Exmouth'

Postby MoVidger » Sat Jul 23, 2016 5:33 pm

Peter - thanks again. I've now checked both census records for the 'Exmouth', but no sign of either Robinson brother. Granted, the 1891 census might be too early for both boys.

There's always the possibility that William could have left the 'Exmouth' just before the 1901 census, but one would think that Arthur would be on the vessel in 1901. Afterall, he is named as "next-of-kin" (training ship Exmouth) on William's 1902 attestation record.

So the search for William in 1891 and 1901 continues...
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Re: Training ship 'Exmouth'

Postby ianbee » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:59 am

A development!
New on ancestry - London, England, TS Exmouth Training Ship Records, 1876-1918
Name: William Robinson
Age: 12
Birth Date: abt 1889
Residence Year: 1901
Residence Place: Greenwich
Entrance Date: 24 July 1901
Entrance Place: Grays, Essex

Says discharged 30.9.02 to 3rd Dragoon Guards (Band Boy)
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Re: Training ship 'Exmouth'

Postby MoVidger » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:50 pm

Hi Ian - many thanks for this heads-up! Gosh, this Ancestry records set is a turn up for the books. I had planned to re-visit the Robinson brothers in the near future. So this new discovery has re-ignited my search for them.

In addition to William's record, I see that there are two records for his brother Arthur, whom I know next-to-nothing about. Given that the Entrance dates for both lads were after April 1901, they should be in the 1891 and 1901 census records. But they continue to elude me. I keep wondering if William and Arthur were in a local workhouse, prior to them joining the 'Exmouth' ??

In the 1939 Register, William gives his DoB as 8 August 1887. He died in 1942 (Skipton, Yorkshire).
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Re: Training ship 'Exmouth'

Postby ianbee » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:03 pm

Hi Mo
In the 1901 census there's an Arthur Robinson, 13, and William Robinson, 10, in the South Metropolitian District Schools at Sutton
Enumerated together, piece 581 folio 151 page 9
They look the likeliest Robinsons to be going to the Exmouth.
There may be some workhouse records for an Arthur and William resembling them. But I can't say for sure it's the same pair.
The problem is your William's date of birth of 8 August 1887, which sems to make him a bit older than this chap.
But at least you have a trail now.
If William did go to the Exmouth from Sutton -
At the LMA
Greenwich Board of Guardians
Register of children at South Metropolitan School District Schools
1895-1901 GBG/295/007
1901-1902 GBG/295/008
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